Hi all! This week's Featured Blogger is a great blogging friend of mine - her name is Janet Petersma and her blog is called "Of Cats and Cardstock". I found Janet's blog not long after I began blogging. It's a favorite stop of mine because of Janet's entertaining writing style and variety of posts (cats, cardstock and everything in between). Janet writes a weekly "Feline Friday" post about the antics of Lily and Tinsel, and I know she has a loyal following of bloggers. Be sure to stop by and say hello after reading more about Janet:
Tell us a little about you: I was born and raised in central Iowa and have lived here most of my adult life. My husband and I have one wonderful daughter (now a senior in high school), and my daughter and I have two wonderful kitties (notice I didn't include my husband in that last part - he's not a cat person!). In college, I majored in French and International Business and following graduation, I worked for a French bank in Chicago. After my husband and I moved back to Iowa, I continued my career in Human Resources and Learning & Development. A few years back, I left my work to do something completely different that offered more flexibility and the opportunity to use the creative side of my brain again - developing and teaching scrapbooking/cardmaking classes for a local scrapbook store. I love creating and teaching, so this line of work is perfect for me right now. I also do some freelance design and writing on the side.
How long have you been blogging? I have been blogging for over 3 years now.
Why do you blog? Before I started blogging, I thought about my goals and listed them on one of my first posts. And they're still true today! Here are a few:
* To discuss various attributes of cats and cardstock. If you know me personally or have been reading my blog for a while, you know that cats and cardstock are two of my very favorite things. Most of my posts have to do with cats or cardstock in one form or another!
* To write more, especially stuff that could be used for my scrapbooks. I frequently use blog posts as the basis for layouts.
* To learn how to add cool features to my blog, thus improving my technical skills. Through blogging, I've learned just enough technical skills to be dangerous, but enough to be conversant with teenagers :) It was a pretty exciting day when I figured out how to import my blog on to my Facebook page!
What's your favorite topic to blog about? I love posting about our kitties, Tinsel and Lily. Most weeks, they provide ample material for multiple posts. I carry my camera around with me so that I can catch cute cat moments as they happen. I also enjoy sharing completed layouts and craft projects. At any given moment, I have multiple projects in the works, so posting them when finished gives me a sense of accomplishment and a record of what I've completed! As opportunities arise, I also like to post about do-it-myself projects. I particularly enjoy posting "before" and "after" photos of decorating or gardening adventures. In fact, we're having our house painted right now, and I can't wait to share the story!
Have you learned anything special from blogging? This may sound a little cheesy, but I've learned that the world really is getting smaller. Blogging weaves us together as a community, no matter where we live. Through blogging, I've deepened friendships with local friends and connected with many wonderful people in places far and wide. Although I may never meet some of my online friends in person, I can feel their warmth and know that we're kindred souls. For this reason (and many others) blogging has enriched my life.
What do you hope that people get out of reading your blog? I hope my blog is a warm and happy place, like your neighborhood Starbucks, where people leave feeling a bit better than when they came.
Can you give us links to 3 of your favorite blogs? This is a tough question, because I spend a lot of time reading different kinds of blogs which are inspirational to me in many ways. Here are three I visit every day:
Cathy Zielske (Bits & Pieces) - Cathy Zielske is my all-time favorite scrapbooker. I love her simple, graphic style and her quirky sense of humor. Cathy's blog never fails to make me smile.
Heather B. Armstrong (Dooce) - This is the blog of Heather B. Armstrong, a former web designer with a great conversational writing style. Heather has an incredible way with words, as evidenced by her recent story of labor and delivery which will leave you laughing and crying.
Daisy (Daisy the Curly Cat) - Daisy is a very special kitty who has her very own blog. I love Daisy's movies and her Fashion Fridays, especially when she dresses up in her denim outfits. Through Daisy's blog, I've found many other blogs written by cats! :)
I hope you've enjoyed reading all about Janet (and Lily and Tinsel!). If you'd like to nominate a blog for Featured Blogger Friday, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to hear from you!